I’ll be honest, this doesn’t feel like something that should have been released yet. It feels more like an early build of a game still in development. The visuals need some polish, combat needs larger hit detection for melee and dodging…it really needs a lot more love.
Unfortunately in the end I just can’t recommend this. It’s beautiful, and with a bit more polish I would call it a fine way to experience a classic tale. As it stands at the moment, though, the bugs are an active detriment and the actual gameplay, the stuff that differentiates this from just reading a book or watching a movie, feel like they detract from the story more than add to it.
A psychological thriller with stealth seemed right up my alley, which made it all the more disappointing that it wound up primarily a mediocre cover-based shooter. But hey, my achievement progress for the game is at 69%, and it’s going to stay that way. Nice.
At the end of the day, Original Journey takes a solid concept of a shooter with a unique art style that sends you through progressively harder gauntlets with the gamble to proceed or head back to the start and bank your earnings, and mars it with a number of poor design decisions.
It’s clear [Super Sexy Software] tried. I love the art direction, they tried to pull off something more original towards the end, and the little optional things you can interact with are fun and whimsical. I’d love to see where they go in the future, but I cannot deny that this is a fairly flawed title.
On the whole, this game is a case study for how the small details truly make the game. It hits all the broad strokes well, and it has a solid foundation. With more polish, I would genuinely call this a good game. Unfortunately, as it is, it just comes across as a jumbled mess that slingshots between unfair and trivial, without enough fluff to make up for it.
It’s clear that not enough love was given to Fear Effect Sedna. The lack of polish shows all over the place, and little flaws that could have been ironed out with more testing cripple the experience. The things it does well are rendered disappointing by the frustrating mess one needs to slog through to reach them.
Really, if I had to boil down my issues to one thing, it’s that the developers need to understand how to add content to a game. Games are all about what we as players choose to do, and for extra content to actually mean anything it should ask me to make different choices. For every dating minigame I’m making the same choices every other time that minigame shows up, for every frame of bowling I am making the same choices as every frame before it. All the pretty visuals don’t change that it is the same minute or so of content repeated over and over.
It feels like someone put a lot of heart into Habroxia 2, but heart only goes so far. It’s a decent enough attempt at a side-scrolling shooter, but lacks the polish I’d expect from a game these days. A bit more balance considerations, some more context for why you’re fighting the things you are, and some longer music tracks, and it would be an alright retro throwback. As it is, it’s a bit mediocre.
I want to like this game, I really do. When it works, it works really well. The core gameplay loop is satisfying, the two ideas mesh believably, and figuring out how best to manage the species on a given level is like a fun little puzzle. Actually reaching later planets makes me feel like Sisyphus rolling a boulder up a hill, with the content I’m repeating feeling no different than it did an hour ago when I started my last run.
It’s buggy, the balance is off, and a good 80% of the locations only really serve as random sidequest destinations. But the storytelling drew me in, the stealth worked rather well, and on the occasions when I felt like I had resources to burn it was just so dang satisfying to slow motion dive out from behind a corner while blasting a barrage of shotgun shells.
For all my complaints, Aragami 2 does pull off making you feel like a ninja rather well. Planning just the perfect route to ambush everyone one by one or slip in and out without disturbing anyone felt really satisfying. It manages to tread that fine line of letting you get away with more than is realistic while still making a perfect run challenging that makes a great stealth game. I just can’t help but feel they took a few gambles with changing things up from the original, and took a step backwards as a result.
Everhood is nothing if not memorable. There’s flaws here and there, but they pale in comparison to the fun and unique time I had. It’s not a very long game, taking around six hours or so for the true ending, but there’s plenty of different choices to make and self-imposed challenges to try.
I really think of all the ways to adapt Animal Farm, this is definitely one of the best ways. Actually making the decisions and watching corrupt leadership undermine them, or being the one to justify sacrificing the “lesser” people for the “greater good,” really emphasizes how easily selfishness ruins a perfectly good dream.